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Refresh your kitchen for summer with these simple summer decor tips. Quick and easy ideas that anyone can do!

Summer is my favorite season of the year! I love the longer days, the warmer weather and the more laid back lifestyle. When it comes to summer home decor, I tend to keep to the no-fuss, simpler vibe as well. Less time cleaning and more time relaxing out on the patio or heading to the lake!

Summer Home Tours

A couple of days ago I showed you our summer patio and today I’m continuing on with our summer home tour with some summer decor ideas for the kitchen. Marty from  A Stroll Thru Life has put together an amazing group of 30 bloggers for this summer home tour, so be sure to check out some of the other beautiful homes that are being shared.. If you’re coming over from Hymns and Verses – welcome! I’m sure you enjoyed Doreen’s beautiful living room with her happy pops of yellow!

Summer Decor Ideas for the Kitchen

Every season I like to take a little time to give the kitchen a deep cleaning and do a quick decluttering. It doesn’t take too long and provides a nice, clean slate for a little seasonal decor. Once everything is clean and decluttered, I have a few “decorating steps” that I always tend to go through. They’re all quick and easy steps that require little in the way of storage once the season is over. Sometimes all it takes is just a shopping trip around your home and a little creativity!

Add a printable.

Printables are one of the quickest, easiest, and least expensive ways to change up your seasonal decor. This year, I went with a lemon theme and made up a few different lemonade bar printables. I have one displayed in the kitchen and a couple of others in our dining room for a simple lemonade bar. Once the season is done, just swap around the print – you can even keep the old one in the frame for storage until next year!

Create a seasonal vignette.

I always use the far corner of the kitchen for a seasonal vignette. I don’t do anything too crazy but it’s fun to come up with something a little different every season. As much as possible, I try to stick with items that are both decorative and functional as kitchen counter space is always in high demand!  This year I added a couple of  herbs, powdered lemonade mix, bar towels, paper straws, and fresh lemons.

Swap out your cookbooks.

Cookbooks can add a pretty touch to your kitchen decor as well as some new recipe ideas!  Each season, I’ll pick out a few cookbooks and go through and mark some seasonal recipes that I want to try. Keeping them out in full view makes it a lot easier to remember to use them and swapping them out each season keeps things fresh.  I have a couple stacked on the back of the counter and placed one on the tray in the corner.

Add fresh flowers or greenery.

I like to use flowers or greenery in the kitchen year round, but it’s so much easier to do in the summer! Look in your yard for clippings, pick up some inexpensive flowers at a farmer’s market, or add a tropical plant or two. I bought the olive tree by our sink a couple of months ago and it’s also been doing really well. I heard that olive trees could be a bit of a “diva” plant, but it’s been really low maintenance so far.

Herb planters are another simple way to add some life to your space. They’re so inexpensive, are easy to keep alive, and also provide some extra flavoring for your cooking or infused water {I especially love mint and basil for this}.

Design a chalkboard.

I’ve had this chalkboard for a few years now and love changing it up every season. If you’re short on storage space for seasonal decor, a chalkboard is a great way to go! Even if you don’t think you can draw or have pretty handwriting, give it a try. Chalkboards are very forgiving and can always be erased! {For more chalkboard tips, check out this Chalkboard 101 post.}

Buy a new tea towel.

I have a bit of a tea towel obsession and love finding new ones. You can pretty much find one in any color, style and theme that you would like and they’re both pretty and functional. Plus, they take up minimal room to store when the season is over.

Use dishware for decor.

We like to eat outside as much as possible during the summer, and I have some inexpensive melamine dinnerware that I use on our patio. Since I don’t want to keep it stored outside and we don’t have a lot of extra space in our kitchen cabinets, I used it to create a display on our hutch. This is right by our kitchen table and very close to the patio doors, so it makes it easy to access when I need it outside. I added a few more blue serving pieces that we had in the kitchen and it makes a cute display that makes dining al fresco quick and easy!

Create a simple centerpiece.

I always like to have some kind of centerpiece on our kitchen table but I like something fairly simple that’s easy to move if needed. This year, I just have a wood glass holder that I fill with flowers or greenery from the yard.  I also like pieces like this because they can easily be changed up for different seasons by just changing up the filler. It makes seasonal decorating a lot easier and less expensive with no need for extra storage.

Even though alstroemeria might not be my favorite flower ever, they’re still really pretty and one of the least expensive flowers at the grocery store. Plus, I can usually get almost two weeks out of them {even in the heat} which is a lot longer than most other flowers.

Well, there you have it! I hope this helped to spark some summer decor ideas for your own home! A few little touches is really all it takes.

To continue on with the summer home tours, head on over to Sincerely, Marie Designs. I’m sure you’ll love her beautiful southern home!  For the full home tour, just check out the links below. Enjoy!

Haneen’s Haven / Monica Wants It / The Chronicles of Home / Follow the Yellow Brick Home /
Thrifty and ChicHymns and Verses

Clean and Scentsible / Sincerely, Marie Designs / 11 Magnolia Lane / Thrifty Decor Chick /
Seeking Lavender LaneOur Southern Home /

The post Summer Decor Ideas for the Kitchen – Summer Home Tour appeared first on Clean and Scentsible.

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11Follow these simple steps to turn your backyard patio into a beautiful, relaxing retreat.  Patio furniture, design tips, and stylish decor ideas to create your perfect summer space.10

While it’s not quite officially summer yet, we’ve definitely been feeling the summer vibes around here! We’ve had a beautiful, warm spring, so it feels like we’re well on our way to those lazy summer days on the backyard patio. Just three more weeks of school to go!

This post does contain affiliate links.

Summer Home Tours

Today I’m joining Krista from The Happy Housie and some amazing blogging friends for a fun summer home tour.  You can find all of the summer home tours at the end of the post, so grab a coffee and enjoy all of the summer decor inspiration. There are lots of simple summer decorating ideas and decor styles to get you in the summer spirit. If you’re coming over from The Turquoise Home – welcome! I’m sure you enjoyed Laura’s beautiful coastal style home!

Backyard Patio Design

If you haven’t already guessed by now, I’m going to be sharing our backyard patio. We redid our back patio a couple of years ago and I love having the extra outdoor living space during the warmer spring and summer months.  I pretty much live out here as much as possible when the weather is nice and I really wanted to create a space that was comfortable and functional for all of our needs. Basically our own little relaxing retreat!

If you’re working on your own little outdoor oasis, I’ve put together some tips and tricks to help you create your perfect outdoor space. If you’re just getting started, remember that you don’t have to do everything all at once and you don’t even need a large space. Even a small little sanctuary to call your own can be a wonderful summer getaway!

Determine your needs.

The first thing you need to think about when you’re looking at your backyard patio, is what function(s) you want it to serve. Do you want to eat outdoors? Are you just looking for a comfy space to lounge? Do you like gardening and want to incorporate a lot of flowers or fruits and vegetables to grow? There are lots of different functions that can be incorporated into your space, so pick and choose what are most important to you and your family.

If you can’t get everything that you would like right now, that’s okay! Think long term and work on one section at a time. You might make a comfy reading spot this year and plan to add on a dining area next year. We were in our house for 15 years before I finally got the finished space that I wanted.

Come up with a design plan.

The easiest way to design a patio space is to just think of it like an extension of your indoor space. Use area rugs, comfortable furniture, end tables, lighting, and decorative items just like you would use if you were designing any other room in your home – just make sure they are all weather-proof for your climate!  Based on what functions you want your patio to serve, divide your space into different “zones” for each of the specific roles.

Choose your furniture wisely.

Furniture choices can often be one of the most difficult {and most expensive!} decisions for your outdoor space. I like to pick the larger items first and then “fill in” additional furniture pieces where there is space {and need}. If you have a small patio space, look for furniture that serves more than one function or can easily be stored away when not needed. Pick materials that will wear well in your particular climate and do your research on what maintenance and winter storage is required. We went with resin furniture (with a rust-proof frame) since it holds up well in the rain for our west coast weather. {NOTE: Almost all of our patio furniture is a few years old from Canadian Tire. While they don’t have our exact pieces available, the Canvas Tofino collection is the most similar to our set.}

For the furniture pillows, make sure to look for fabrics that are quick drying, and UV and stain resistent. Having pillow covers that can be removed easily to be washed is also a huge bonus. {You can find more tips on how to clean patio cushions here.} I prefer to go with light colored, neutral pillows since the won’t really show any sun fading and can easily go with a variety of color schemes. You can always add color with throw pillows which are much easier and less expensive to change out!

Bring on the plants and flowers.

What better way to add a little life to your backyard patio than with plants and flowers! I’m definitely not the best gardener out there {in fact, I’m pretty terrible}, but I love my little patio planters! There are so many different flower and plant options to choose from these days – it can really customize your space! I usually love all of the different colored flowers, but this year I went with classic white on white flowers throughout the patio.  I also have some strawberries growing {I’ve already harvested a few!}, lots of little herb planters, and a blueberry bush in the corner.

My biggest advice with the plants and flowers is to not go too crazy. The flowers especially can be a lot of work and a few well taken care of flowers looks a whole lot better than a bunch of dead ones! Plants are generally a lot less work and can look really pretty too, so add a few in with your flowers. Be sure to always check the sun and soil conditions when choosing your plants and flowers to make sure that you choose the best location for them.

You can find instructions for this little DIY summer planter here. It’s grown like crazy over the past couple of weeks!

Add the accessories.

This is always my favorite part of any design process! While I like to stay fairly classic with my furniture pieces, I add my own personal touch and personality with the accessories.  Look for outdoor rugs, lanterns, pretty planters, and throw pillows to add color and texture to your space. To keep things cozy, have a basket filled with blankets that guests can grab in the evening. Outdoor lighting is my very favorite thing, so add some string lights, battery operated candles, or twinkle lights for that beautiful night time glow.

Our Backyard Patio

Before you go, I wanted to show you a few of my favorite spots on our patio. I have a few main zones that I created – a sitting area, a lounging spot, a dining area, an entertaining zone, and the BBQ area. These zones help to define the patio space and create a more cozy feeling in each section.

Outdoor Sitting Area

My favorite spot on the patio is this little sitting area. It’s nice and sunny in the morning light and shaded in the warmer afternoon. It’s the perfect spot for drinking my morning smoothie, reading a book, or visiting with a friend. I love the oversized club chairs and it’s such a comfy spot to just relax.

Our contractor put in the privacy screen when we built the patio and I love the Virginia Creeper vine that grows up it. This vine is very versatile and will grow like crazy in a variety of different soil and sun conditions. Other than an occasional trim, I don’t have to worry about any maintenance or watering which is a huge bonus! I also love that the leaves turn a beautiful red in the fall.

Outdoor Eating Area

We like to BBQ and eat outdoors as much as possible in the summer. Our patio is east facing so even on hot days, it’s generally nice and cool by dinner time. While I usually just eat my breakfast on the club chairs, it’s nice to have a dining table for family dinners and for when we have guests over.  To freshen things up a bit, I gave our cement table top a new paint job this year and picked up a new patio umbrella from Target. {NOTE: Our table is from Canadian Tire but is no longer available. This one is the closest one I could find but it’s a little smaller and only seats 4 instead of 6}

Backyard Covered Patio

If possible, consider having a covered area for at least a portion of your patio. This allows you to have a dry spot to still enjoy your space on those rainy days and some refuge from the sun on the hotter days. It also provides some extra dry storage space in bad weather for pillows and other decor items that may be more exposed. When the rain is coming, it’s super quick and easy to just drag the patio cushions out of the elements so they stay clean and dry.

And, of course, the best part, is taking off the lid of the fire table for a little DIY s’mores bar! This thing actually throws off a lot of heat, so it’s a great place to sit even during those early fall nights.

I hope you enjoyed the tour of our outdoor living space and feel inspired to create a little oasis on your own backyard patio! If you have any questions, just let me know! The next stop on the tour is over at She Gave It a Go. Be sure to say hello for me!

Full Line-Up of Summer Home Tours

For more summer decor inspiration, check out the full line-up of summer home tours. There will be nearly 40 bloggers sharing their summer home tours this week, so there’s lots to see!  Sharing with me today are…

Tuesday

Town and Country Living // Taryn Whiteaker Designs // Designthusiasm
// This is Our Bliss // My Sweet Savannah

Rambling Renovators // The Turquoise Home // Clean and Scentsible
// She Gave it a Go //Lemon Thistle

And sharing the rest of the week…

Monday

The Happy Housie // Rooms FOR Rent // Shabbyfufu // Maison de Cinq // My 100 Year Old Home

Southern State of Mind // All Things with Purpose // Grace in My Space // Love Create Celebrate

Wednesday

Modern Glam // Craftberry Bush // Setting for Four // Inspiration for Moms // Zevy Joy

Life is a Party // Tauni Everett // Finding Silver Pennies // Sincerely, Marie Designs // Amber Tysl

Thursday

Kim Power Style // Maison de Pax // Jenna Kate at Home // Two Twenty One // Just a Girl and Her Blog

Summer Adams // tatertots and jello // The Tattered Pew // Aratari at Home // Crisp Collective

The post Backyard Patio – Creating a Relaxing Retreat appeared first on Clean and Scentsible.

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This delicious DIY s’mores bar is sure to be a hit at your next summer party, BBQ or family night. There are lots of fun s’mores recipes to customize your perfect s’more and some cute s’mores printables to tie it all together!

DIY S’mores Bar

Summer is almost here and there’s nothing I enjoy more than a good summer s’mores bar! S’mores bars are awesome for summer parties, backyard BBQs, or a family movie night. They’re quick to put together and your guests can just help themselves as they would like. Low maintenance AND a party favorite – you can’t go wrong!

What you need for your s’mores bar.
  • Marshmallows. Add a few large marshmallows to some skewers or cut some of the large jumbo ones in half. You can also find some flavored marshmallows around these days. I just tried some maple ones that were really good!
  • Graham Crackers or Other Cookies. See flavor combination ideas below.
  • Chocolate.
  • Fun Custom Fillings. This is my favorite part!

  • Roasting Sticks. You’ll need some good sticks, metal roasters, or skewers depending on what heat source you’ll be using to roast your marshmallows.  These custom roasting sticks are a fun summer project for the kids too!
  • Heat source. Of course you can use a traditional campfire for roasting your marshmallows, but if you want an easier option, a fire table or DIY tabletop roaster work great too!

How to Customize Your S’mores Change up the Cookie

The easiest way to change up your s’mores is to change the cookie base. Chocolate covered digestive cookies are my favorite but here are some other options…

  • Change up your graham cracker flavor. Honey Maid makes a variety of different graham cracker options- cinnamon, chocolate, and vanilla – so it’s a great way to add a little flavor twist while still keeping a traditional graham cracker base.
  • Chocolate covered cookies. Cookies that are already topped with chocolate are a convenient {and less messy!} way to still get the chocolate taste without having to worry about adding chocolate pieces.
  • Chocolate chip cookies.
  • Fudge stripe cookies.
  • Oreo cookies. Look for the thin Oreos to make it a little easier to fit in your mouth!
  • For a {slightly!} healthier option, use apple slices instead of cookies

Get Creative with the Fillings

There are so many delicious fillings that you can add to your s’mores besides regular chocolate! Here are some ideas to try…

  • Different chocolate brands. Peppermint patties, Reese’s peanut butter cups, Caramilk pieces, and the Ghiradelli chocolate squares (especially the salted caramel!} are our regular go-to’s for chocolate.
  • Spreads such as cream cheese, peanut butter, or Nutella.
  • Fruit fillings such as bananas {my personal favorite with chocolate!}, strawberries, thin apple slices, or raspberries.
  • Caramel sauce or Dulce de Leche.
  • Toasted coconut flakes.

S’mores Recipes

Everyone loves a good s’more and they’re even better when you can customize your own! There are so many fun ways to create some delicious twists on the classic s’mores recipe. Once you start creating new s’mores combinations, the possibilities are endless! Here are some of our favorites to help get you started…

  • Classic S’mores – Graham Cracker + Chocolate + Marshmallow
  • Grasshopper S’mores – Chocolate Graham Cracker + Peppermint Patty (or mint flavored chocolate) + Marshmallow
  • Nutella Banana S’more – Graham Cracker + Nutella + Banana Slices + Marshmallow
  • Peanut Butter S’mores – Chocolate Graham Cracker + Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup + Marshmallow

  • Chocolate Salted Caramel S’mores – Graham Cracker + Chocolate + Caramel Topping + Sprinkle of Coarse Sea Salt + Marshmallow. {For an easier version, just sub Ghiradelli chocolate salted caramel squares for the regular chocolate.}
  • Chocolate Covered Strawberry S’mores– Chocolate or Regular Graham Cracker + Chocolate + Sliced Strawberries + Marshmallow
  • Caramel Apple S’mores – Apple Slices + Caramel Sauce + Chocolate + Marshmallow

  • Caramel Banana S’mores – Graham Cracker + Dulce de Leche + Banana Slices + Marshmallow
  • Berries and Cream S’mores – Graham Cracker + White Chocolate + Fresh Berries + Marshmallow
  • Oreo S’more – Thin Oreo + Chocolate {optional} + Marshmallow
  • Banana Split S’mores – Graham Cracker + Chocolate + Banana Slices + Strawberry Slices + Marshmallow

  • Cookies and Cream S’mores – Oreo Cookies + Cookies and Cream Chocolate or White Chocolate + Marshmallow
  • Chocolate Chip Cookie Caramel S’mores – Chocolate chip cookie  + Caramilk  + Marshmallow
  • Samoa S’mores – Graham Cracker + Chocolate + Caramel Sauce + Marshmallows + Toasted Coconut Flakes. {Or use some chocolate coconut cookies!}

Free S’mores Printables Printable S’mores Recipes

If you’d like a printable version of some of the flavor combinations for your next summer party, BBQ, or camping trip, I put a few of my favorites together in this free printable. It doesn’t include all of them, but it will give your guests a good place to start when they’re creating their own!

DOWNLOAD YOUR S’MORES RECIPES PRINTABLE

The S’more the Merrier Free Printable

I have two color choices for this one – one with the blue wording and one with brown wording. Just pick your color and size, download them, and print them off!

BLUE S’MORES DESIGN – 5×7 or 8×10
BROWN S’MORES DESIGN – 5×7 or 8×10

I hope you enjoy these and take some time for a s’mores bar this summer! Let me know if you have any other favorite s’mores varieties that you love. I’d love to add them to my list!

More Summer DIY Ideas
If you’re looking for more simple summer DIY ideas, don’t go anywhere! Today I’m joined by a fabulous group of blogging friends who are also sharing their Summer DIY Ideas as part of the Seasonal Simplicity Summer Series. You can check them all out here…

5 Minute Dollar Store DIY Hat Wall at The Happy Housie
Anthro Octopus Knockoff at Craftberry Bush
Summer Activities Tree at The Handmade Home
Easy Ways to Bring Colour Into Your Home for Summer at Tatertots and Jello
Rustic Birdhouse Garden DIY Decor from the Dollar Store at The DIY Mommy

DIY Shell Planter Tutorial at Zevy Joy
Painted Wood Jewelry Dish at Paint Me Pink
DIY Beach Art on a Canvas at Shabbyfufu
Place of My Taste
Go Jump in the Lake Sign at My Sweet Savannah

DIY Pottery Barn Inspired Liberty Burlap Party Banner at She Gave it A Go
Campfire S’Mores Gift Basket Idea at Modern Glam
How to Paint a Concrete Patio at The Turquoise Home
DIY Hanging Garden Trellis at A Pretty Life
DIY Coastal Window Box at Finding Silver Pennies

Rainbow Book Art at Life is a Party
DIY Tabletop Marshmallow Roaster at Sincerely, Marie Designs
How to Make a Sign the Easy Way at Confessions of a Serial DIYer
DIY Bird House at Seeking Lavender Lane
Simple Botanical Watercolour at Lemon Thistle
DIY S’mores Bar at Clean & Scentsible

The post DIY S’mores Bar appeared first on Clean and Scentsible.

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Create beautiful outdoor decor and summer tablescapes with these simple summer entertaining ideas. Quick and easy ideas that anyone can do!

I love spending time out on our back patio during the summer months. We usually only get 3-4 months of good patio weather around here so we try to take advantage of it as much as possible! Even though I still have a little work to do before out patio is completely “summer ready”, we’ve already eaten out here a few times and I often pop out here in the morning for my breakfast.

Summer Tablescape Ideas

Today I’m joining Alicia from A Burst of Beautiful for a fun summer tablescape blog hop. You’ll find lots of beautiful summer decor tips and summer entertaining ideas from more than 20 amazing bloggers to help you put together the perfect summer tablescape.  Great for summer BBQs, summer parties, or just a nice dinner spent with your family. You can find all of the links at the end of the post, so be sure to check them out before you go.

Simple Summer Entertaining Ideas

Summer is all about keeping things simple for me. No one wants to be working when the the weather is perfect for going to the beach, relaxing by the pool, or hanging out with friends for a BBQ! If you love to host summer parties and BBQs, you can definitely create some beautiful summer decor while still embracing that summer simplicity. This table was put together in less than 30 minutes and the only extra thing I purchased was some ribbon from the dollar store.   Here are my favorite simple summer entertaining ideas….

Pick a color scheme.

I find that everything comes together much quicker and easier once I pick out a color scheme. Shop your house for anything in that color palette that might work for your table or entertaining space. You really just need one or two little items to really make things pop! I ended up going with blues and whites with some fresh greenery for this summer space.

Use Durable, No-Fuss Dinnerware

There are lots of stylish melamine options for outdoor dinnerware these days. Not only do they look great, but they also withstand the elements and you don’t have to worry about anything breaking.  I picked up these blue and white plates and bowls from Walmart this year and think that they’re so pretty! When I don’t have them in use outdoors, I have them displayed just inside the house on our hutch for easy access. {NOTE: If you have bright or dark colored melamine plates, they will fade if left for prolonged periods of time in the sun. Keep them in the shade or bring them indoors to keep them looking fresh}.

Include some fresh flowers or greenery.

A few fresh flowers or greenery can really add a lot of interest and color to your table and should be easy to find during the summer! If you don’t happen to have any flowers in your yard, even some greenery clippings can add a little life to your decor. I managed to get the last clippings of our lilacs for this summer tablescape, but even a small bouquet of flowers from the grocery store would look great.

To spread the flowers throughout your table {and stretch out your flower budget!}, use smaller glass bottles or mason jars and just place a stem or two in each jar with some greenery. To dress them up a bit, I added some ribbon in a coordinating color {that I just picked up at the dollar store} along with a little Summer Vibes printable tag. You can find the free printable tags at the end of the post along with some instructions for how I used them.

Add some color with napkins.

Napkins are an easy way to add some color and interest to your table. Look for pretty, inexpensive paper napkins or bring out some of your linens. I love having a plain set of white linens on hand as they go with everything and can be mixed and matched with other linens when you don’t have enough of one set. Just alternate the white with the colored napkins for the place settings.

I used the same ribbon and summer vibes tags as I used for the flower vases to tie up the napkins and then added some greenery from our lilac tree. It ends up tying everything together for very little effort!

Don’t forget about the lighting.

Pretty, outdoor lighting is one of my favorite things about summer parties! Use a mixture of different lighting options throughout your space – strings of outdoor lights, glowing patio lanterns, solar lanterns, candles, or battery powered lights. Solar lights and battery powered outdoor lights with timers are my favorite as they will just come on automatically as the sunlight dims. I also like the battery powered candles so you don’t have to worry about wind or anyone knocking over a real candle.

I added some battery powered tealights to this table along with some strings of battery powered twinkle lights to the umbrella.  The battery pack is underneath the table and then I just wrapped the umbrella pole with the string lights and extended them up to the posts underneath the umbrella. It looks so pretty at night!

Create a Beverage bar

I always like to put out some fruit infused water along with some other beverages and ice for guests to help themselves. It gives you one less task to do and allows your guests to customize their beverages and refresh whenever they would like. You can read more ideas for putting together an outdoor beverage station HERE.

Download Your Summer Vibes Tags

If you’d like to use these summer vibes tags, just click on the link to download and print them out. I just used a paper cutter to cut them and then punched a hole in one end and cut a ‘V’ in the other end to finish them off.  You could always do the same idea with name tags, other words of inspiration, or even a pretty flower graphic. They’re a quick, inexpensive, and easy way to dress up any table or party decor.

DOWNLOAD SUMMER VIBES HERE

I hope you have some fun putting together some summer tablescapes this year and remember that simple is good! Just a few little touches can really transform your summer entertaining decor. Cheers to outdoor living!

More Summer Tablescape Ideas

For more summer tablescape ideas, check out the posts from some of my favorite blogging friends. There are tons of different styles and tips so you’re sure to find something you love!

A Burst of Beautiful | Amber Tysl | Sincerely, Marie Designs | Clean and Scentsible

Maison de Cinq | Town and Country | The Happy Happy Nester | Anderson + Grant

My Sweet Savannah | Finding Silver Pennies | Taryn Whiteaker | The Wicker House

Shabbyfufu | She Holds Dearly | The Handmade Home | Caitlin Marie Design

Paint Me Pink | Rooms FOR Rent | Summer Adams

The post Simple Summer Entertaining Ideas appeared first on Clean and Scentsible.

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Create this simple outdoor summer planter centerpiece for a pretty addition to any outdoor space or summer patio.

Summer Outdoor Projects

Summer is my favorite season of the year and I can’t wait to get our outdoor spaces all ready for some summer fun and relaxation. If you’re looking for a little summer outdoor inspiration, I’m joining in a fun summer blog hop today with some amazing blogging friends. We have lots of summer outdoor projects and decor ideas to share with you, so be sure to check out all of the links at the end of the post.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been working on getting our patio ready for summer. I still have a little ways to go, but I did finish up the power washing and clean all of the patio cushions and furniture. I also repainted a few items that needed touch-ups and re-stained our patio table. Now all that’s left is the fun part – decor and flowers!

I usually do lots of different colored flowers on the back patio {you can see last year’s summer patio here}, but this year I’m going to go with a variety of white flowers and greenery. While I still have some work to do on the planters, I did create this pretty outdoor summer planter centerpiece for our patio table and wanted to share it with you today.

Outdoor Summer Planter Centerpiece Materials
  • Planter or container
  • Horticultural charcoal and gravel {if no drainage in your planter}
  • Soil
  • Variety of white flowers and greenery. I used 3 small bacopas, 3 diamond frosts, 3 superbells white, 3 potato vines, and 2 floristan whites. These flowers work well in full sun.

To Make
  • If your planter does not have drainage, line the bottom with some horticultural charcoal (approximately 1 inch thick) and top with a thin layer of gravel rocks. This will help to absorb any excess water and keep the roots from sitting in water. If your planter or container has drainage holes, you can skip this step.
  • Fill your container with potting soil.
  • Add the floristan whites {white gayfeather} to the center of the planter. Visually divide the planter into thirds and place one diamond frost, one superbell, one potato vine, and one bacopa in each third. Keep the bacopas and potato vines closer to the edge so they can trail over.
  • Top up any holes with soil.

I’m looking forward to seeing more blooms as the summer progresses! Check back in a couple of weeks to see our finished back patio.

More Outdoor Ideas

For more summer inspiration and outdoor ideas, check out these posts. There are so many beautiful ideas!

How to Create an Outdoor Living Space by Happy Happy Nester | Patio Makeover Ideas by Modern Glam | How to Set the Perfect Outdoor Table by My 100 Year Old Home | DIY Umbrella Cover with Pom Poms by Hallstrom Home | Succulent Pot by Craftberry Bush

A Greenhouse Update by Amber Tysl | Summer Planter Centerpiece by Clean and Scentsible | Teacup Fairy Village Gardens by Life is a Party | DIY Outdoor Projects to Transform Your Yard by The Happy Housie | DIY African Wax Print Fans by Casa Watkins Living

Outdoor Entertaining with Sparkling Pomegranate Cocktails and Edible Flower Ice Cubes by A Pretty Life

The post Outdoor Summer Planter Centerpiece appeared first on Clean and Scentsible.

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Cute lemonade stand printables for summer parties, a DIY lemonade bar, or fun summer decor!  Lots of simple decor ideas to display them.

Free Summer Printables

This post combines two of my favorite things – free printables and summer! Today I’m excited to be joining Kristen from Ella Claire and some of my creative blogging friends for a fun summer printable hop. There are tons of beautiful free summer printables for you to choose from to help celebrate the best season of the year in style.  You can find them all at the end of the post so be sure to check them out!.

Lemonade Stand Printables

It’s definitely starting to feel like summer around here! The last week has been absolutely beautiful with warm, sunny days that are perfect for patio time. Sitting out on our back patio in the sunshine with a cold glass of lemonade in my hand is one of my favorite ways to spend a warm, summer afternoon. It makes me relax just thinking about it!

So, in honor of one of my favorite past times, I created three lemonade stand printables to share with you today. Frame them for your regular summer decor or use them for parties or your own little lemonade bar. There are so many creative ways to display them so have some fun with them! {You can find some creative ideas on how to use and display printables here}. Just pick the ones you want, download them to your computer, and print them out. Quick, easy, and inexpensive!

Setting up a lemonade bar in your home doesn’t have to be anything complicated or fancy. I always like to create a seasonal beverage bar in our dining room and decided to do a lemonade stand for our summer decor this year. I switched out the mugs on our mug ladder for some pretty plastic cups and added a galvanized bucket to hold some extra supplies. If we’re not having guests over, I usually fill the drink dispenser up with filtered water and drink it throughout the day.  I also have a mason jar filled with powdered lemonade that the kids can use to mix up a drink if they would like.  A few yellow paper straws, the lemonade stand printables, and a little bowl of lemons adds some simple seasonal decor.

Tips for Setting Up a Lemonade Bar for Parties
  • If it’s hot out, freeze some of the lemonade to use in ice cube trays.  This way you can keep it cold without watering it down with regular ice cubes.
  • Keep a pitcher of cold water available to add to the lemonade for those that prefer a less sweet option.
  • Homemade lemonade is always a favorite {you can find my homemade lemonade recipe HERE}, but the powdered versions work too if you’re short on time.  You can always add a little bit of fresh squeezed lemon juice to it or slice up some lemon slices to top it off.
  • Customize your lemonade bar with different flavors.  Fruit syrups or fresh fruit add pretty color and are a fun way to put your own twist on your drink flavor.  The fruit syrups take a little longer to make but they are SO good for special treat or summer party {you can find my homemade fruit syrup recipe HERE}. Fresh fruit is a quicker option and you can just use a muddler to release more of their flavors.

Download the Lemonade Stand Printables

Each of the printables comes formatted in three different sizes – 5×7, 8×10, and 11×14. {Remember that you will still need to adjust your printer settings to the appropriate size if you’re printing at home.} To download, just click on the link for the printable and size you would like and save it to your computer. You can then either print it out on your computer or send it out for printing at any online photo shop.

DOWNLOAD 

5×7 Fresh Squeezed Lemonade with Lemons
8×10 Fresh Squeezed Lemonade with Lemons
11×14 Fresh Squeezed Lemonade with Lemons

DOWNLOAD

5×7 Fresh Squeezed Lemonade with Drink
8×10 Fresh Squeezed Lemonade with Drink
11×14 Fresh Squeezed Lemonade with Drink

DOWNLOAD

5×7 Summer is like a glass of lemonade.
8×10 Summer is like a glass of lemonade.
11×14 Summer is like a glass of lemonade.

I hope you enjoy the printables and come up with some fun ways to use them.  I always love to see them being displayed, so let me know what you create!

More Free Summer Printables

Before you go, be sure to check out all of these beautiful free summer printables from some of my favorite blogging friends. I can’t wait to print some of them out!

Vintage Root Vegetables by Ella Claire | Old Fashioned Lemonade by Live Laugh Rowe | Vintage Butterfly by My Someday in May | Plant in Faith Trio by anderson + grant
DIY Personalized Candle by Happy Happy Nester | Hello Summer by Home Made Lovely | Fresh Flower Market by Lolly Jane | Vintage Summer Landscape by Town and Country Living
9 Watercolour Tropical Leaf Printables by The Happy Housie | Black and White Summer Foliage by Zevy Joy | Choose Kindness by Jennifer Rizzo | Lemonade Stand Printables by Clean and Scentsible
Palm in Chinoiserie pot by Craftberry Bush | Seed Packet by My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia | Summer Loving Palm Tree by Nest of Posies | Lemonade Recipe Printable by Jenna Kate at Home
7 Snarky Black and White Wall Art by Twelve on Main | Summer Ice Cream Cone Wrappers by Paint Me Pink | So Much Sunshine by Maison de Pax | Country Music Summer Book by My Sweet Savannah
You can also find more of my summer printables here…

The post Lemonade Stand Printables appeared first on Clean and Scentsible.

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Learn how to get rid of pet odors in your home with these simple tips and tricks. It IS possible to have a clean and fresh smelling home with pets!

Did you know that May is National Pet Month? Yep! This month is all about celebrating our little fur babies and showing them just how much they mean to us. We have a cat and three dogs {a goofy Golden Doodle, a feisty Havenese-Poodle cross, and a sweet little Shitzu-Poodle cross} that pretty much rule our household. They’re kind of a crazy bunch but we all love them to pieces and can’t imagine life without them!

Pets bring so much love and joy into our lives, but, unfortunately, they also tend to bring a lot of pet odors and messes. Dirt, dander, pet accidents, and, of course, that lovely “wet dog” smell – there are definitely some stinky scents that come with being a pet owner! Although pet messes and odors are pretty much impossible to completely avoid, there are a few simple tricks to stop them from taking over your home. Today I’m partnering with Febreze and Swiffer to bring you some of my favorite tips for how to get rid of pet odors. It is possible to have a clean, fresh smelling house AND pets!!

How to Get Rid of Pet Odors

If you have a pet, you’re probably very familiar with the messes and pet odors they leave behind. Unfortunately, they’re just one of those things that comes along with owning a pet. Not to worry though – there are lots of simple ways to help prevent and eliminate those unpleasant pet messes and scents. Depending on the type of pet{s} you have and where you live, you might need to tweak a few of the suggestions, but they’re all pretty quick and easy to do.

Know your pets’ favorite hangouts.

To cut down on cleaning time, know your pets’ favorite hangouts and target those areas first. Focusing on these higher pet traffic areas can help the mess {and odors!} from spreading to others area of the house. Plus, if you’re short on time, even cleaning these few areas can go a long way in freshening up your home.

If your pet always likes to lie on a specific chair or a certain spot on your bed or sofa, consider putting down a blanket for them. When the spot starts to take on that pet smell, just switch out the blanket and toss it in the wash with the rest of your laundry. Quick and easy!

Clean pet messes as soon as possible.

Cleaning up pet messes quickly and effectively is definitely a must for a fresh smelling home. For a thorough clean every time, follow these steps:

  • Pick up any solid waste first and throw it in the garbage.
  • Blot {don’t scrub!} the mess with a dry rag towel to absorb any excess moisture.
  • To help completely remove the odors and any remaining mess, lightly saturate the area with an enzyme cleaner. This will work to break down the proteins in any biological stain and provide a more effective cleaning. Be careful not to use too much cleaner, however, as it can be hard to remove the residue. It’s always better to add too little and repeat a second time than to oversaturate.
  • Let the cleaner sit for 30 minutes {or as directed on the packaging} and then blot the area again with a damp rag or cloth. I like to use a white rag so I can see when it starts to come up clean with the blotting.
  • Repeat the last 2 steps until the stain is completely gone.
Do a daily Swiffer.

A quick daily Swiffer of your floors will gather up all of that fine dust, fur, and debris, and will help to cut down on how often you will need to deep clean. Just a 5 minute sweep of those higher traffic areas with your Swiffer is all it takes to keep things tidy. You can even get wet pads for those muddy paw prints or stuck on dirt or grime.  As an added bonus, the Swiffer Sweeper is so quick and easy use that it’s a great task to pass on to your kids! Plus they have refills specifically made for pet messes.

The Swiffer Sweeper is also great for being able to reach under furniture pieces and other tight spots that are hard to reach with the vacuum.  Oreo loves this task as she will usually find a missing toy or two under the sofa as well.

The Swiffer Sweeper pads are amazing at trapping and locking in all of that fine dust and dirt. You’ll be amazed at what you pick up! The pads actually hold a lot of debris so be sure to use them to their full potential. To make them last longer, I’ll pull off the loose pet hair and dust bunnies to throw in the garbage at the end of a session. I can then re-use one pad several times before it needs to be replaced. If you like a little added scent when you clean, look for the Swiffer Sweeper Pet refills with the added Febreze Odor Defense.  This will get rid of any odors that the messes may be causing. You can find them in both the dry and wet pads to use for almost any type of mess you might encounter on your hard surfaces.

Vacuum

Dirt, dander, fur balls, and other debris tracked in from outside can quickly build up around your home and start to create that “not-so-fresh” pet smell. Regular cleaning with your vacuum helps to pick up a lot of those pet messes and it can actually tackle a lot more than just flooring. Play around with the different attachments to clean the following areas as needed….

  • floors – be sure to get into all of those corners that fur balls like to collect
  • carpets and area rugs
  • furniture {be sure to get under those cushions and in all of the little crevices}
  • throw pillows
  • dog beds
  • curtains
  • down floor vents

For a little extra freshness, try adding a few drops of your favorite essential oils to your vacuum filter.

Use an air purifier.

An air purifier will help to pull out dust, dander, and other household allergens from the air. Look for ones with a charcoal filter to further help eliminate those pet odors. Place your air purifier close to those areas that your pet tends to spend the most time or any areas of your home that are particular troublesome {like a basement that’s harder to air out}.

Clean all of your pet’s accessories.

Gather up any soft pets toys, blankets, and pet beds and throw them in the washing machine.  Try to schedule a regular time to do this so it just becomes part of your regular washing routine {I like to do it once per month}. Check the labels for any special washing instructions and use the hottest water possible for extra disinfecting. For extra smell removal and to keep beds and blankets fluffy, add 1 cup of vinegar to the fabric softener dispenser.

Freshen up quickly with Febreze Fabric and Febreze Air.

If your home is in need of a quick refresh, Febreze Air Heavy Duty Pet Odor Eliminator has up to 2 times more odor eliminating power than regular Febreze Air.  Just give it a light spray in those extra troublesome spots for instant freshness.  Our dogs get put in our laundry room to dry off if they’re particularly wet and muddy when they come in from outside, and this works great for those wet dog smells that linger once they’re released!  If you prefer a lighter scent, Febreze ONE is a great alternative {although it’s not made specifically for pets} and contains no dyes, aerosols, or heavy perfumes. {I love the bamboo scent especially}. For more odor fighting ideas, check out these 9 Ways to Use Febreze.

For freshening up those hard to wash soft surfaces and fabrics, Febreze Fabric Pet Odor Eliminator works amazing! Give it a spritz on throw pillows, curtains, area rugs, or upholstery for a nice, light scent.  Apply it with a sweeping motion to lightly mist your fabrics and then just sit back and let the product do the rest. I love that this actually works to eliminate the odors and not just cover them up.

Develop a regular cleaning routine.

I find that having a regular cleaning routine helps to keep me on track and make my cleaning routine much more manageable.  Here’s a quick summary of what I add into my cleaning schedule to keep the house smelling fresh and clean! Your routines might look a little different depending on your specific pets and the size of your home, but hopefully this gives you a good starting point.

  • Daily: 5 minute Swiffer of the high traffic areas and any specific trouble spots. If there are any muddy prints, I’ll also bring out the Swiffer WetJet and spot clean. Do a quick check to make sure there aren’t any unexpected pet messes that you might have missed.
  • Every Few Days: Vacuum the carpets and other high traffic areas.  Use the Swiffer Sweeper under furniture that fur balls, dust bunnies, or other debris tends to accumulate.
  • Weekly: Dust all hard surfaces with the Swiffer Dusters. Freshen up fabrics as needed with Febreze Fabric Pet Odor Eliminator.  Spot clean floors where required. Clean food and water bowls.
  • Monthly: Wash soft toys, bedding, and dog beds. Remove cushions from sofa to vacuum underneath. Wash floors.

And there you go! I hope that helps you tackle all of your pet odors with confidence. Now go give those fur babies some love! Those cuddles will definitely make all of the cleaning worth it. If you have any other great odor fighting tips, let me know!

You can find all of the Swiffer and Febreze products on your next Target run {because who doesn’t want an excuse to go to Target?} or at other major grocery, retail, or home improvement stores. For more product information, check out these sites…

SWIFFERwebsite or Facebook
FEBREZEwebsite or Facebook

For more tips on how to keep your house clean with pets, check out this post.

The post How to Get Rid of Pet Odors appeared first on Clean and Scentsible.

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Beautiful bathroom design ideas and bathroom decor tips in this coastal style bathroom makeover. Simple and clean bathroom design.

I am so excited to finally be able to show you our coastal style bathroom makeover! This wasn’t really a project that we were planning on taking on this year but, after a leak in our toilet required us to rip up the bathroom floor, we decided to just take the plunge. Our house is about 25 years old and this bathroom had not really had any significant updates over the years, so I guess a bathroom makeover was due! Here’s a quick before photo for you {you can see more photos HERE and HERE}

How to Plan Out a Bathroom Design

When you’re planning out your bathroom design, it’s always helpful to think in terms of how you want the bathroom to function and how you want the space to feel. Do you want something elegant? Do you prefer a more spa-like feel? Does it need to be family friendly for small children? Sometimes what you might prefer aesthetically might not always be what will actually work best or be practical for your family. Once you’ve figured out your “must-haves”, you can then start to move on to the actual product and design decisions.

With our bathroom makeover, there were a few main points that I tried to keep in mind with all of my purchases.

  1. I wanted a classic design that would last for many years to come. This meant staying away from anything too trendy or theme based.
  2. I wanted something that would be easy for the boys to keep {somewhat!} clean. Although I do do a deep cleaning of the bathroom once per month, they’re responsible for keeping things clean on a daily basis. The simpler the better!
  3. I wanted to create a space that was easy to keep organized and had a simple, relaxed feel.

Coastal Style Bathroom Makeover

I didn’t really set out for any particular “style” for our bathroom but, once it was done, it definitely had a coastal vibe! It’s funny how things just seem to come together in the end.  The bathroom walls were painted with Sherwin Williams “Passive”. It’s a nice light grey with slightly cool undertones.  Greys are always a funny color to deal with {and can be so different from room to room} and I was happy that it didn’t have too much blue in it once it was up.

For the accents, I went with a mix of black and chrome. I love chrome but I felt that all chrome was just a little too formal. I think that the black brings in a little more of a casual and modern feel and it let me keep the black towel rack that we have had since we first moved in.

Bathroom Vanity

My main “must have” in our new vanity was double sinks and I must say that they haven’t disappointed.  It has been SO nice to not have to listen to the boys squabble over one sink every morning

That being said, choosing a bathroom vanity was the hardest and most time consuming part of the whole makeover. After looking at pretty much every model in every store around here {and online}, I was kind of disappointed at the options. Many of them seemed to be very cheaply built (despite not being cheap!}, were out of our price range, didn’t have great quality reviews, or didn’t really offer a lot of useable storage. {TIP: remember to think of what will be available for storage AFTER all of the plumbing in goes in.} Most of the vanities also came with the vanity and countertop together and often I liked the finish of the vanity but not the countertop {or vice versa}.

On my third or fourth trip to Lowe’s, I talked with one of their bath associates {not just one of the general associates} who recommended a semi-custom solid wood vanity. I had overlooked it in the store because the floor model was just a small single-sink vanity with a wood stain and countertop that I didn’t like.  There were a lots of other design options to choose from, however, and I was able to customize the door styles, color, sink style, and countertop. I love how deep the sinks are and the countertop is a nice thick, carerra quartz which is pretty much indestructible.

Light Fixtures

I always like to splurge a little on light fixtures as I really think that they add a lot of interest to a space. I looked everywhere for a light fixture that I liked, and finally found “the one” at a local lighting store {you can also find it on Amazon HERE}.  In case you want to look for them elsewhere, they’re the Piermont bath light by Quoizel. I love this one as it still has some chrome on it to tie in with the faucets, but the added black makes it less formal looking and a bit more modern.

Shower and Tub

Although I love the look of the big glass showers, they’re definitely not low maintenance for cleaning and not something the boys would do well. The kids also still like to take baths so we stayed with a tub and shower combo. Our old shower tiles were pink and so ugly that I never took a photo of that side of the bathroom for any of my blog posts. Now I wish I had a good before picture!

I went with a polished marble mosaic tile for the shower walls and took it right up to the ceiling. I absolutely love the look of the tile but, if you’re going to be installing it yourself, be warned that it’s definitely not an easy tile to work with. There were also a lot of broken tiles in the tile sheets so be sure to look through them carefully before purchasing. That being said, I am super happy with it and would pick it again. The marble will require resealing about once every 6-12 months, but I have to do it for our marble flooring in our main floor bathroom and it doesn’t take long.

Linen Closet

Our bathroom linen closet received a good decluttering and few new organization products. I had 4 of the striped bins already and just picked up a couple more for the top shelf to keep our first aid supplies and a few other random items. Now that it’s so tidy, I’m actually debating whether or not we should put the doors back on. I was always the only one that shut them anyways!

Bathroom Decor

I kept the bathroom decor pretty simple in this bathroom – mostly because the boys just don’t care. lol!  I definitely would have added a few more decorative pieces if it was our master bathroom, but less stuff means less to clean. We had a couple of shelves up above the toilet in our old bathroom and it just ended up being a dust magnet.

This sign is one of the only things that made it from our original bathroom {although I did move it from its original location}. I think it’s a good message to see first thing every morning.

Especially in a boy’s bathroom, you can’t go wrong with a few air purifiers.

I hope you enjoyed the bathroom tour! I’ll be putting a post together on all of my bathroom organization tips soon. Let me know if you have any questions!

Bathroom Sources

If you’re looking for any of the items used in our bathroom, I’ve linked as many items as I can. If I missed anything, just let me know.

The post Coastal Style Bathroom Makeover appeared first on Clean and Scentsible.

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Learn the best ways to organize and store your spices to prolong their shelf-life and preserve their flavor with these simple spice organization ideas. Add some cute DIY spice jar labels for the finishing touch!

This post contains affiliate links and includes Cricut products that were received for free in exchange for this post.

After a few months of having our house turned upside down with renovation projects, it’s been so nice to be able to get everything cleaned and organized again! I have lots of little projects that I’ve been working on over the last couple of months and I’m excited to start sharing them with you again. Today, I’m going to start with a nice easy organization project – some custom spice jar labels and some some simple spice organization ideas.

How to organize spices.

There are many different ways that you can organize your spices, but I’ve put together some of my favorite spice organization ideas. Having your spices organized not only looks better, but you’ll probably find that you’re more likely to use them when they’re easily accessible.  To find the best organization options for you, follow these basic decluttering organization steps…

Declutter

Go through all of your spices and get rid of any spices that you don’t use or have expired {see below for how to know if your spices are still good}.  Having spices around that you don’t need, just wastes space and makes it more difficult to find those spices that you actually do use!

Decide on the best place to store your spices.

Once you know how many spices you actually have to store, you need to determine where the best place is to store them. This will depend partially on your kitchen space and design and how often you actually use your spices. Ideally you want them close to your cooking space so you can easily grab them {just keep them out of direct heat}. This could be in a drawer or cupboard, in your pantry, or hanging on a shelf on the inside of a cabinet door.  Play around with space options to find the most functional place for you in terms of ease of use and space available. I recently moved our spices from one of our kitchen drawers to the cupboard beside our stove and have been amazed at how much more I’m actually using them. Storage placement does make a difference!

You may even choose to keep your spices in two different locations – one for spices that you use regularly and want more easily accessible and one for spices that you may only use seasonally.  This especially works well if you like to leave some spices out on your countertop. Just keep your most commonly used spices on a tray or spice rack and store other less used or seasonal spices in another place. We have most of our spices all in the one cupboard but I do have a small basket of other spices that are used for BBQ season that I store elsewhere.

Choose your organization products.

There are many organization products to help make your spices more organized and easier to see and grab.  Before purchasing anything, be sure to measure out your space and check the dimensions of the organization product.  There are so many great options available, you’re sure to find something that works in your space.  Here are a few of my favorites that I’ve found…

For storing in a drawer: For storing in a cupboard:

For mounting on a cupboard/pantry: Choose if you would like uniform spice jars or will keep original containers.

When you purchase spices, they generally come in a wide variety of container size and shapes. Not only can this look more cluttered, but it can also make it more difficult to find what you’re looking for and to just buy what you need.  If you prefer to keep the original containers, small bins might be an easier way to store them as you can group them into categories.  

Personally, I love the cleaner lines of using uniform spice jars so they all look the same. I used two types of jars for our storage.  I had originally purchased the glass jars on the lazy susan a few years ago from Superstore {you can find similar ones here or buy them individually here}. While I do like them, I found that they were harder to grab from the higher shelf though so I picked up some of these mini glass jug jars from Crate and Barrel to use up there. You could even use recycled baby food jars or other small glass jars. Just make sure the lid is airtight.

Label, label, label.

Make sure that you’re spice jars are all labeled so everyone can easily find what they need!  If you transfer spices to different jars, you might also want to label the best before date or the purchase date somewhere on the jar {I use a little round sticker on the bottom of the jar}.

How to make spice jar labels.

In addition to making things more organized, labels are a fun way to add some style and personalization to your jars. I made our cute little labels using my Cricut Maker. I know there are tons of amazing craft projects and DIYs that can be done on the Cricut, but I couldn’t wait to use it for some organization projects around the house! 

Materials Instructions
  • Write down all of the spices that you need to make labels for. Go to the Cricut Design Space and design your custom labels. You can use my spice label template or create your own. With Cricut, you can use any font that you have on your computer, pick one of the free Cricut fonts available, or get access to hundreds of other fonts using your Cricut access pass. I purchased the font Santa’s Workshop for mine. {TIP: When you’re looking at font options, play around with the letter spacing. It can really change the look of the font.}

  • Place your vinyl onto a light grip mat with the shiny side {clear liner} down and cut out your project.
  • Remove the vinyl from the mat and weed out the excess vinyl {negative pieces} from each of the words leaving the liner intact.  The Cricut weeding tools make this process much quicker and easier and are definitely worth the extra purchase!

  • Remove the transfer tape liner and gently place the transfer tape {adhesive side down} over your labels. Use the scraper in the tool set to rub the tape onto the vinyl. {You can also a craft stick or credit card edge to do this.}
  • Peel the vinyl and transfer tape away from the vinyl liner at a 45-degree angle. If the vinyl still sticks to the liner, burnish the transfer tape onto the vinyl again using the scraper and slowly continue to peel the vinyl away from the liner. 
  • Cut out the individual labels and apply them to the spice jars as you would like them to appear. Centering them in the middle or the word works best due to the curvature of the jar. Burnish the transfer tape onto the jar starting in the center and moving out towards the edges.
  • Slowly peel the transfer tape away from the vinyl at a 45-degree angle. Continue to keep pressure at the corner of the transfer tape where it’s been peeled away to avoid the vinyl sticking to the tape.

  • Rub the vinyl down on the jars to increase adhesion. If the jars need cleaning over time, they can be hand washed with dish soap. Just be gentle as you’re washing over the lettering.

If you’ve been looking at getting a Cricut {or already have one and need to stock up on supplies!} there’s currently an awesome anniversary sale going on with up to 40% off.  You can check out all of their specials and learn more about the Cricut products HERE.

How long do spices last?

Spices won’t actually spoil; however, they will slowly lose their potency over time and not produce the flavor that they should. How long this actually takes will depend on the type of spice that you’re dealing with as well as the storage conditions that they’re kept in. As a basic rule of thumb, you can expect whole spices to stay fresh for 3-4 years, ground spices for 2-3 years, and dried herbs from 1-3 years. {NOTE: Salt should last indefinitely.}

How do I know if my spices are still good?

To test for freshness, rub or crush a small amount of the spice or herb in your hand and taste or smell it. If you don’t notice a nice, strong aroma or the taste is not obvious, it’s time to discard. Color can also be used as a freshness indicator as this, too, will fade over time.

What is the best way to store spices?

Storing your spices correctly will help to prolong their shelf life and give you the most flavorful results for your cooking and baking. While there are lots of different storage options available for spices, there are a few basic storage rules to follow to keep your spices at their best.

  • Spices should ideally be stored in a cool, dark cupboard or drawer. If you like to keep your spices out on the counter, reserve this for more frequently used spices that will be used up fairly quickly.
  • Ensure that your storage jars have tight fitting lids that and close them immediately after you use them.
  • Keep spices away from direct heat {i.e. away from the stove} and direct sunlight.
  • Keep spices away from moisture. Ensure that you’re always using a completely dried spoon before dipping it into your spice jar and protect your spice jars from any steam.

I hope this makes you want to go out and sort through your spices! You might even be inspired to try a new recipe or two once everything is done.

More Kitchen Organization Ideas

If you’re looking for more kitchen organization ideas, check out these posts…

How to Keep your Counters Clutter-Free

8 Steps to an Organized Kitchen

Free Printable Fridge Labels

 

The post Spice Jar Labels and Spice Organization Ideas appeared first on Clean and Scentsible.

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Everyone’s favorite mini-eggs packed into a tasty dessert bar!  These mini egg dessert bars are sure to be an Easter hit and can even be packaged up with the free Easter printables for a cute hostess gift!

Mini-Egg Dessert Bars

Mini-eggs are my all-time favorite chocolate treat and I must say that I was pretty excited when they started making them all year long rather than just at Easter time.  I still think of them as more of an Easter treat, however, and I knew that they would be perfect for some Easter dessert bars.  These mini-egg blondie bars are fun to make with the kids and make a tasty addition to the Easter dessert table.

TIP:  I would recommend buying the mini-eggs right before you actually intend on making the bars so you don’t have to go back to the store to buy another bag.  I may or may not know this from personal experience.

Mini Egg Dessert Bars Printable Recipe

Mini Egg Dessert Bars

These tasty mini egg dessert bars combine two of my favorite treats – mini eggs and blondies – into one perfect Easter bar!  Fun to make with the kids and great for Easter parties!

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups mini eggs
  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts {I used walnuts}
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 2 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar together. Mix in the butter, beaten eggs, and vanilla and stir until well blended.
  3. Add the mini-eggs, chocolate chips, and nuts.
  4. Prepare a 9×9-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  5. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Allow to cool and cut into squares.

Mini Egg Bunny Bar Recipe Video
Bunny Bars in Jar Instructions

Since the dessert bars were so yummy, I thought that they would make a perfect little Easter gift idea.  You could always make the bars yourself and package them up, but I thought that this Bunny Bar in a Jar idea was a pretty cute idea too…

All you need to do is download the free printables and have fun dressing up your mason jar!  The one above is just topped with a cupcake liner and some baker’s twine, and I just added some washi tape to the rim on the one below.

To fill the jar, layer the ingredients in a 1 quart mason jar as follows:

  • flour, baking powder, salt {sifted together}
  • sugar
  • mini-eggs
  • chocolate chips and nuts

For the printables, there is a Bunny Bars label for the front {or top} of your Mason jar and an instruction label {with the recipe} for the back.  I just printed them both out {in a A5 format so I could punch them with a 3 inch punch} and glued them together.  To fit the label for the top of the jar, I printed it out as a 5×7.

DOWNLOAD THE BUNNY BAR PRINTABLES HERE

I hope you enjoy them as much as we do! Always feel free to add more mini eggs!

More Easter Ideas with Free Easter Printables

There are so many fun things you can create with free printables! Check out all of these cute Easter ideas from some of my talented blogging friends.  There’s something for everyone!

Easter/Spring Banners & Pinwheels from Yellow Bliss Road
Easter Bunny Printable from How to Nest for Less
Spring Free Printables from The 36th Avenue
Bunny Gift Tags from Reasons to Skip the Housework
He is Risen Printable Trio from Such the Spot
Easter Egg Monograms from I Should Be Mopping the Floor
Hershey Kiss Labels from The Girl Creative
Eggstra Special Gift Tags from Thirty Handmade Days
Easter Lunch Jokes from Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke
EOS Lip Balm Bunny Card from Paging Supermom
Easter Printable from Live Laugh Rowe
Roll-a-Bunny Easter Game from 733
Spring Photo Checklist from Snap Happy Mom
Bunny Bars with Free Gift Tag from Clean and Scentsible

Fun Easter Ideas

If you’re still looking for more Easter ideas, check out these posts…

Easter Hot Chocolate Bar

Fun Easter Confetti Eggs

Easter Bunny Treats

The post Mini Egg Dessert Bars with Free Easter Gift Tags appeared first on Clean and Scentsible.

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